Love Jesus

Posted: September 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah 33:5-6

“The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” What is the fear of the Lord? E.J. Young says the fear of the Lord is “the complete and entire devotion of the whole man to the Lord.” Nothing remains untouched in the man who fears God. Every fiber of his being lives to honor God. Out of that devotion emanates the life, the wisdom, the knowledge of God himself.

I adore my Grandpa Sheveland. 42 years have passed since Grandpa’s death and yet not a day passes without thoughts of him. The legacy of Clarence Sheveland lives in everything I do. Heroes do that sort of thing in boys. We want to be just like them. His pet names are my pet names. His passions are my passions: every flower bed a memorial, every mantlepiece a testament to the man who shaped my life.

Clarence lived a simple life, raised six kids with his wife Ruth, never had much money. But a humble two bedroom home stood proud, the backdoor beckoned all, “Come on in.” The gardens pristine, the lawn lush; a white picket fence traced sentinels of black walnut trees. Norman Rockwell had nothing on Grandpa’s house, pure Americana bathed in love. None of these wonderful things explain the man. They are simply markers of the driving force in Grandpa’s life, Jesus Christ. He loved his Lord with a whole heart, the fear of God the key to real treasure, a love that moved a young boy. That same love consumes and drives the mature grandson a half century later.

The little boy didn’t appreciate Grandpa’s fervent prayers. Phillip thought they were too long. Homemade bread, apple butter, and hot cocoa graced the kitchen table. Grandma read from “The Daily Bread”, then Grandpa prayed, and prayed. My stomach growled, my nose twitched,; I kept peeking at that bread, fifteen minutes an eternity. But I sure loved those hugs and hearty laughs. And the touch of his hand, love emanated from those fingers. I lived for his hand in mine, the caress of my curly mop, the squeeze of approval on my shoulder.

“There is enough in Christ for my necessities. There is more in Christ than I shall ever know–perhaps more than I shall understand even in heaven.”

Charles Spurgeon

Those prayers became the center of our conversation when I was twenty two. Grandpa Sheveland’s health was failing, he would pass the following Spring. He sat on the couch. I took the recliner rocker. We talked about the voice of God, miracles, the power of prayer. He put flesh to the Word of God. I witnessed the profound faith of a humble man in whom God poured a reservoir of wisdom and knowledge. He gestured at the photographs of all the grandkids displayed on the shelves of two built-ins. “I pray for everyone of you. Love Jesus.” I don’t remember anything after those two words. “Love Jesus” encapsulates Clarence Sheveland’s life. I pray those words encapsulate mine as well because in the end, Christ is all that matters.

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